God’s Word for Today: Forbearance
Romans 3:25-26. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood; to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished; he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Yesterday’s post talked about the fruit of the Spirit. One of those fruits was forbearance. This word seemed to be stuck in my mind. Thus, we are going to explore its meaning in the context of God’s Word, a little deeper.
For those who read God’s Word in Spanish or Portuguese, “forebearance” is “paciencia or paciência”. Translated back to English, we then have patience. Thus, I cannot indulge too much in the fact that “forbearance” is a word used very seldom in the English language. Although, it might make total sense, because one thing we Americanos are known for, is a lack of patience. That fact is something we need to discuss one of these days.
Forbearance in today’s context has to do with paying a debt. Or, actually the lack of paying a debt. To have forbearance in the legal context is; the action of refraining from exercising a legal right, especially enforcing the payment of a debt. Now, we are getting into the meat of this word.
To refrain from exercising a legal right, that is difficult. Many a company would go under if they practiced too much forbearance. Medical offices and hospitals have all but thrown this word, forbearance, out the window. They will hunt you down. Even if the delay is because of your medical insurance company playing “keep away” with your information, that doesn’t matter. Collection companies are then involved. The world gets ugly. You start screening your calls. The curtains are drawn. All because of a lack of forbearance.
You almost have to laugh when you think about some of the Scripture throughout the Bible being thrown together. God made man in his own image. God held back a little bit on the forbearance part. If God had the lack of forbearance that most of us portray, we would be doomed. Life would not be good. I would have been condemned over and over for many years. My debt would be an astronomical amount that I would never be able to pay. Can you relate?
The best part is, God established a contingency plan. He knew, I can almost hear God chuckling to himself, that man was going to screw up. God blessed us with the ability to choose. The Good Lord did not necessarily bless us with the ability to choose correctly. Given the choice, we have a tendency to choose wrong. There is a reason for this. I hope and pray you know why it is so easy to choose wrong. That is half the battle of beginning to learn how to choose right. And, part of this is forbearance.
Today, know that God has offered the ultimate in forbearance. God knows we will do wrong. God sent Jesus to take care of our wrongly debts. We no longer have to screen our calls and keep the curtains of our life pulled shut. You and I have our debt to God already paid. Paid in full. Pretty simple credit application to fill out too. Faith in Jesus. All the many words in today’s two verses are summed up in a nice little package. Believe in the fact that Jesus shed His blood for you and me. Thus, our debt to God is paid in full. No need for forbearance. There is no debt…………
Prayer: Dearest Lord, creator of the master of mistakes, me. Thank you for knowing that I will fail. Forgive me for the times that I do. Your forbearance is covered through Jesus. Thank you for bailing me out of eternal hell. Now, help me to practice forbearance on those who I feel, owe me. That, is going to take some work. In Jesus’, who eliminated the need for God’s debt collectors, name I pray. Amen and amen.